Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Spain

Tarragona – Ruben Ruzafa and Helena Erbenova captured the elite titles on a hot day at XTERRA Spain, on a new course in Tarragona.

Photos | Unofficial Results

This is the second win in a row for each of them on the XTERRA European Tour after they both took home victories at XTERRA Greece on April 30th.

Three-time XTERRA World Champion and two-time European Tour Champion Ruzafa won on his home turf today in 2:23:50, coming in five minutes ahead of runner up and fellow Spaniard Xavier Jove who finished in 2:29:09. Frenchman Arthur Serrieres was a close third in 2:29:52.

“It was great,” said Ruzafa. “I had a good swim and I tried pushing the bike, and on the run, I tried keeping the gap. I’m really happy to win here in Spain. Now it’s time to enjoy.”

German Jens Roth was first out of the water, followed by Ruzafa and young German, Maximilian Sasserath.

Ruzafa took the lead on the second lap of the bike course, and never looked back.

Runner-up Xavier Jove’ who finished nearly five minutes behind Ruzafa boasted.  “It was a great day for me.  Now we have so many strong Spanish guys with Ruben, Roger and me.  This is my best XTERRA ever.”

“It was a tough race, it was so hot,” said Roth, disappointed that no Germans were on the podium. “I would have liked to have followed Ruben on the bike when he caught me, but I wasn’t able to. But I’m thankful to be here in Spain and I’m looking forward to the next race.”

“It was a great day in Spain today, and Roger Serrano did a fantastic job for his debut,” added European Tour marketing director Kostas Kourmargialis.  “Ruzafa, Jove, and Serrieres were strong as was Jens Roth. The young German, Maximilian Sasserath also raced well today. He narrowly missed the podium but he cemented his spot as one to watch after his second place finish at XTERRA Malta in April.

In the women’s race, it was a battle between reigning European Tour Champion Brigitta Poor of Hungary and Czech Helena Erbenova. The pair have faced each three times this year and have begun to separate themselves from the pack of early tour contenders.

“Today my bike rolled really well on the rocky and technical beautiful bike course,” said Erbenova. “On the run I found some good tempo and followed it. A few Spanish guys passed me at the end of the run and I started feeling I was too slow. But at the end I wasn’t. I’m so happy with my winning and more than half of that belongs to my supporters - my husband and father.”

Today, Erbenova crossed the line in 2:48:48 for 16th place overall. Poor came through in 2:54:51 and Spain’s Sara Bonilla was third in 3:01:12 after passing Germany’s Kathrin Muller on the run. Muller was fourth in 3:01:54.

Spaniard Sara Bonilla was first out of the water followed by German Pauline Sasserath, Hungary’s Brigitta Poor and Kathrin Mueller of Germany.

Poor and Erbenova then pushed hard on the bike and reeled in the others with Poor eventually holding a nearly four minute lead on Erbenova until she crashed near the middle of the second loop.

Erbenova pulled ahead and widened her lead, making it look easy on the run as she floated to the finish line.

“I’m disappointed to have crashed,” said Poor. “But I’m happy nothing is broken and I could finish the race in second place.”

Sara Bonilla added, “I was so surprised to hear I am 3rd” she smiled. I think I am fourth or fifth. Now I must think to go to Maui.”

XTERRA World Tour managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

The return of XTERRA to Spain is complete. Over 400 men and women athletes enjoyed a great day and some epic trails in a fabulous setting.

Because both T1 and T2 are on public property we did not finish T2 until 10 last night. This morning the crew took over the waterfront in Tarragona and created T1 from what is normally the street that runs past their beach. But it all happened and we were ready to race well before the scheduled 10am start time.

The sea was perfect. Just a few, small waves but basically flat. Pros started first with age groupers three minutes later. With a broad, white beach everyone came out of the water for a short beach run to start their second lap. Literally a thousand spectators lined the sea walls and the joint was jumping.

Jens Roth was far out in front after the swim and led easily onto the streets. The first 2K of the bike are done on city streets. Riders then go up and down a ramp and ride on broad, flat trails alongside the river before arriving at the Pont Des Diablo park. Then the fun begins.

Ruben Ruzafa had an excellent swim and while Roth led into the park, the 3-time World Champ was firmly in second with young Max Sasserath just behind in third.

It was a bunch and quite exciting as Arthur Serrieres, Jan Pyott, Peter Lehmann came splashing through the tunnel under the highway and up into the forest.

At the end of the first bike lap Ruben had complete control with Roth in second. The surprise was Xavier Jove’ from Spain up into 3rd. Xavier has raced with us for a few years and always was quick, but this was a big step up.

Poor Serrieres had his derailleur fail on him with a few K left on the bike and got passed by Pyott and Max to complete the top 6 coming into T2.

Spanish pro Sara Bonilla led First year pro Anna Pauline Sasserath and our current points leader Brigitta Poor from the water, but our Hungarian woman passed them just as they headed out into the woods at the park.

By the end of the first big loop Poor had a good lead but it was Czech Helena Erbenova who was second and riding very well.

“I was feeling strong today, and even with my hard tail bike, I was surprise to ride that fast” said a clearly hurting Brigitta. “But in a technical single track I went down hard and hit my knee and few ribs, I had a hard time to get back on my bike and it became hard to breath, another race started for me”.

Our old friend and former champion Kathrin Muller is back racing after a few years away and was doing well in 3rd but losing ground. Erbenova caught Brigitta and led easily onto the run.

Ruzafa had about three minutes on Roth but did not look confident. The run here is very hard with a signature huge hill that runners go both ways on. The day was getting hotter and the sun was taking its toll on our athletes.

Xavier Jove’ was making his move and passed Roth into 2nd. Serrieres also moved up passing Pyott and Sasserath to go into 4th and his race was not finished.

In a similar story, Sara Bonilla was tearing up the run course and had moved up into 4th. At the end Bonilla and Serrieres both ran their way into 3rd.

Despite the few setbacks, it was a super event. The recovery area had free, cold beer and a fabulous Catalan pasta dish and even a vegetarian variation. There were nothing but smiles in the picnic area.

Tarragona has a brilliant future. Everyone loved the bike course “it was technical but really fun” was what we heard exclusively.

Elite Results

XTERRA Spain was the fourth of fifteen races on this year’s XTERRA European Tour, and with the win Ruzafa moves into second place on the tour standings, one point shy of tour leader Francois Carloni who did not start today’s race.

Erbenova continued to make ground on women’s tour leader Brigitta Poor of Hungary with back-to-back wins at XTERRA Greece and today in Spain.

The XTERRA European Tour now goes to XTERRA Portugal in Golega on May 27.

Pro Men
Pos Name, NAT Time Points Purse
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:23:50 75 $1,200
2 Xavier Jove, ESP 2:29:09 67 $900
3 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 2:29:52 61 $700
4 Jens Roth, GER 2:30:00 56 $550
5 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 2:30:35 51 $400
6 Albert Soley, ESP 2:31:58 47
7 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 2:32:53 43
8 Jan Honza Kubicek 2:32:55 39
9 Rui Dolores, POR 2:34:01 36
10 Jan Pyott, SUI n/a 33
11 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 2:39:44 30
12 Peter Lehmann, GER 2:40:16 27
13 Llewellyn Holmes, GRB 2:41:33 25
14 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 2:45:22 23
15 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 2:46:47 21
Pro Women
Pos Name, NAT Time Points Purse
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 2:48:48 75 $1,200
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 2:54:51 67 $900
3 Sara Bonilla, ESP 3:01:12 61 $700
4 Kathrin Mueller, GER 3:01:54 56 $550
5 Rocío Espada, ESP 3:08:12 51 $400
6 Aina Picas, ESP 3:11:14 47
7 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 3:13:56 43

XTERRA European Tour Elite Standings - After 4

Men S S S S
1 Francois Carloni, FRA 151 61 47 43 DNS
2 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 150 DNS DNS 75 75
3 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS
4 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 118 67 DNS DNS 51
5 Jens Roth, GER 117 DNS DNS 61 56
6 Jan Pyott, SUI 114 56 DNS 25 33
7 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 100 33 67 DNS DNS
8 Thomas Kerner, GER 94 DNS 61 33 DNS
9 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS
10 Yeray Luxem, BEL 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS
10 Rui Dolores, POR 75 DNS DNS 39 36
12 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 67 DNS DNS DNS 67
13 Maxim Chane, FRA 66 30 DNS 36 DNS
14 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS
15 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61
16 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS
17 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS
17 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS
17 Arthur Forissier, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS
20 Tomas Kubek, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS
20 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS
20 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47
23 Mark Hamersma, NED 43 43 DNS DNS DNS
23 Hannes Wolpert, BEL 43 DNS 43 DNP DNS
23 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43
26 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS DNS
26 Jan Honza Kubicek 39 DNS DNS DNP 39
28 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 36 36 DNS DNS DNS
29 Tiago Maia, POR 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS
30 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30
31 Doug Hall, GBR 27 27 DNS DNS DNS
31 Tim Van Daele, BEL 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS
31 Peter Lehmann, GER 27 DNS DNS DNS 27
34 Llewellyn Holmes, GRB 25 DNS DNS DNS 25
35 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS
35 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23
37 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS
37 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21
39 Ivan Munoz, ESP 0 DNS DNS DNS DNP
39 Barret Fisher, USA 0 DNS DNS DNS DNP
39 Nil Riudavets, ESP 0 DNS DNS DNS DNP
39 Alejandro Salmeron Tenorio, ESP 0 DNS DNS DNS DMP
39 Diego Silva , POR 0 DNS DNS DNS DNP
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 284 75 75 67 67
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 217 67 DNS 75 75
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 123 DNS 67 56 DNS
4 Maud Golsteyn, NED 103 56 DNS 47 DNS
5 Cecila Jessen, SWE 100 39 61 DNS DNS
6 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56
7 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43
8 Nicole Walkers, GBR 61 61 DNS DNS DNS
9 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS
10 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61
11 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS
12 Carina Wasle, AUT 51 51 DNS DNS DNS
13 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS
14 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS
15 Rocío Espada, ESP 51 DNS DNS DNS 51
16 Kristina Lapinova, SLK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS
17 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47
18 Louise Fox, GRB 43 43 DNS DNS DNS
19 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF
20 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS
21 Anne Sphie Marechal, FRA 0 DNS DNS DNF DNS

2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule

XTERRA Spain was the 16th of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25 XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4 XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18 XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25 XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1 XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1 XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2 XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
Apr 8 XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
Apr 9 XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
Apr 16 XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
Apr 23 XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 23 XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
Apr 29 XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
Apr 30 XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
May 6 XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
May 14 XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
May 14 XTERRA Brazil # Silver Ilhabela, Sao Paolo
May 20 XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Pelham, AL, USA
May 27 XTERRA Portugal * Silver Golega
Jun 10 XTERRA Belgium * Silver Namur
Jun 17 XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18 XTERRA Finland * Silver Imatra
Jun 24 XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Vallee de Joux
Jul 2 XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
Jul 9 XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15 XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30 XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5 XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
Aug 5 XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
Aug 6 XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
Aug 13 XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
Aug 13 XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
Aug 19 XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
Aug 26 XTERRA Sweden * Silver Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26 XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2 XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
Sep 3 XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
Sep 16 XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29 XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour

Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale